Social Changes During The Reconstruction Era

1479 Words6 Pages
The developments that occured in the United States of America during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era were arguably revolutionary. During these years of 1860 to 1877, not only did social change take place, but also constitutional change. By the end of the Civil War, many aspects were questioned, such as black status and readmission of former confederate states. At the end of it all, three amendments had been ratified and southerners were forced to accept that blacks were their equals. With many changes happening, the constitution had a full revolution by adding three amendments that challenged the beliefs of many, while social changes merely took a step up and didn’t last long. The constitution had many changes thanks to the Union winning…show more content…
Many of the social changes involved the South because the Union had been fighting for emancipation of slaves, so the social changes weren’t as drastic. Meanwhile, in the ex-confederacy, they were still fighting to keep slavery alive and still viewed blacks as property. Near the end of the Civil War, when it looked like confederates were losing anti-black groups started forming. In fact, in Harper’s Weekly in 1874, an image was featured and it depicted two people, one from the kkk and one from the white league, holding a banner that had black in fear and said worse than slavery. Their audience were those who agreed with emancipation, and more specifically blacks who had just been free. Clearly from the image described, those two groups didn’t see blacks as their equals and despised them. Their purpose in creating this image was to install fear in blacks to keep them from voting and believing that they are equal to those in the ex-confederacy. The kkk had been using terror tactics all throughout the Reconstruction era because they didn’t want blacks to vote or participate in their politics the kkk wanted to keep white supremacy. For a while the South had enacted black codes which replaced the slave codes. The black codes restricted the freedom of African Americans, but eventually the federal government ruled black codes unconstitutional. However, once the former Union had moved out of the South and Reconstruction was done, the former confederacy had gone back to having its own governments and leaders. This led to all the former social changes being destroyed because now the former Union wasn’t using the military to protect the rights of freedmen. This led to a new era called the Jim Crow era which started in 1877 and lasted until the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement had taken
Open Document